Cleveland Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said the team was unaware of inappropriate behavior toward women by former pitching coach Mickey Callaway while he was with the club.
Antonetti said he became “distraught” and “disturbed” in learning of allegations against Callaway that were reported on Monday night by The Athletic.
Five women who spoke to The Athletic on condition of anonymity said Callaway, who was with Cleveland from 2010 to 2017 and served as the pitching coach for his last five seasons, sent uninvited and sometimes unanswered messages to them via email, text or social media.
He asked one to send nude photos in return, according to the report.
Antonetti said he didn’t know anything about Callaway’s behavior until the report came out. He reiterated a previous statement by the team condemning any sexual harassment.
“I want to be really clear,” Antonetti said. “The behaviors described in that article have absolutely no place in any workplace and certainly not in our organization. When I read them I was disturbed. I was distraught and saddened to read them. It’s my responsibility as a leader in this organization to re-double our efforts to make sure we have a safe and inclusive environment.
“We know we have a lot of work to do to create that safe, inclusive environment that we want to continue to build, but I am committed to making sure that happens.”
Callaway, who left Cleveland to manage the New York Mets for two seasons, was suspended Tuesday by the Los Angeles Angels as their pitching coach.
He has initially denied wrongdoing, a source told ESPN on Tuesday, which prevents the Angels from firing him without the just cause that could be procured from an investigation. MLB and the Angels are hoping to wrap up that investigation relatively soon, perhaps before the start of spring training, the source said.
Callaway wrote to The Athletic that “any relationship in which I was engaged has been consensual, and my conduct was in no way intended to be disrespectful to any women involved,” the report said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.